OMAC has taken over Tim Drake as a possible future comes ever closer to destroying Batman and Gotham. Batwoman is the enemy of the future, but you wouldn’t know it from her heroic acts in this issue. It’s a Gotham focused time travel caper with huge stakes that Tynion IV has been hinting at and playing up for months.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
“BATMEN ETERNAL” part five! The worst possible future for Gotham City has been locked into place, and there’s nothing Batman can do to stop it…until Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain catch a glimpse of something they never would have thought possible!
Why does this matter?
Cass and Spoiler play a big part in this issue, so if you’re a fan of either, jump on now. This issue also features Batwoman going all-in as hero, even though she’s been played up as a potential villain at some point.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue is mostly about how screwed Batman and his bat-family are. OMAC is nearly indestructible, especially with Tim Drake in control. Whether or not that future we’ve seen is real, one gets the impression this is the heroes’ last chance to do something about it. That’s where Spoiler comes in, who has had an on again, off again relationship with Batman. When Batman is calling in favors from heroes who have sworn off working with him, you know he’s desperate.
The other new element is time travel, or at least seeing into the future. Tynion ends the issue with a cliffhanger that could go in any direction, but you’ll have some theories. It’s a nice way to begin closing out this arc since it was all predicated by characters seeing an authoritarian ruled Gotham of the future. Using future information against the villain who has used it for his own gain is a cool way to take back control over the situation.
The art by Scott Eaton with colors by John Kalisz and Allen Passalaqua make the OMAC soldiers look otherworldly. It’s a combination of the hologram-like coloring, but also the subtle glow effect. The eyes of Spoiler are particularly done well in later scenes which help convey the emotional reaction she’s having to offscreen reveals.
It can’t be perfect can it?
As a penultimate issue to the story arc it’s setting things up more than knocking things down. Any revelations or character developments are being held back for the finale and that makes this issue less fulfilling.
Is it good?
A good issue that sets up the finale in a variety of ways. The biggest win is Spoiler will come out of this arc stronger than ever…if she survives at all!